We’ve all heard this before: To be a good leader, you must be a good follower. That axiom holds true in the Kingdom of God. Godly leadership requires an uncompromising dedication to following Jesus. After all, Jesus is Lord. He is King. He is the Almighty. Without this humble understanding of God’s supreme authority (even when you’re in a position of earthly authority), your leadership will be ineffective and unfruitful.
That’s why, as a leader, I intentionally set my posture as one of submission to the Lord. As I teach, I teach only as the Lord instructs because I am acutely aware that I know nothing. As I give, I give with an understanding that all I have belongs to Him and is not my own. As I make decisions, I make every effort to lean on God’s wisdom and not my intellect. Having this mindset not only keeps me humble but also keeps me close to Jesus. If I’m constantly depending on Jesus in every move I make, then I must be in constant communication with Him. And isn’t intimacy with God what everyone—especially leaders—should earnestly seek?
The world would say that having such a “lowly” view of your own capabilities erodes confidence and sets you up for failure. But the Bible says otherwise. In Isaiah 42:16 (NKJV), God makes this beautiful promise: “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” So I’ve accepted the hard truth that I’m blind, so I must follow God as He leads me on a great adventure that’s sure to be wondrous at every turn. Even better, I can rest knowing that I have a reliable guide who will never leave my side.
So what does following the leader look like? It looks like praying before, during, and after completing ministry; relying on the Word of God for inspiration and guidance for all that you do; submitting to women and men in authority over you; and loving and serving others with a willing heart. A leader who looks like that is a leader whom the people of God will joyfully want to serve with. Then like the Apostle Paul, leaders fully surrendered to Jesus can say to others “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NKJV).
The Original Servant Leader!